he Cadillac Barbie IN Pride Parade Grand Marshals are local heroes who have made significant contributions to the Indianapolis LGBTQ+ community. Over the years, many important figures have accepted the honor of being named the Grand Marshal of the Cadillac Barbie IN Pride Parade, from athletes and organizations, politicians and standing mayors, to artists and activists. They are recognized, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, for their supporting efforts to achieve equality in their particular fields. This year’s Cadillac Barbie IN Pride Parade Grand Marshals are no different.
Alice Langford, Community Advocate.
Alice Langford has a rich history of helping those in need in in Indianapolis, inspiring others around her with her courageous spirit and unyielding kindness. Alice started volunteering at Parkview Care Center, a nursing home for those fighting HIV/AIDS, after hearing a sermon at church talking about the responsibility Christians have to help those affected with HIV/AIDS.
For Alice, volunteering became her one of her greatest joys. She started out volunteering at the center, taking a few out to lunch before eventually hosting dinners in her home. Alice did this for over 20 years, paying for the meals herself, with some help from the Indy Pride Bag Ladies, Midwest Bearpack, Broadway United Methodist Church, and others.
Through her dinner parties, Langford witnessed first-hand the first two decades of the AIDS epidemic in Indianapolis. When she first starting hosting the meals, guests arrived in wheelchairs, clinging to IV poles, using respirators to breathe. Indeed, a nurse was often needed on-hand to tend to any guest who fell ill.
In a time where there was so much fear, Alice showed nothing but love and compassion. She is a hero — to those whom we have now lost, to those still surviving, and to those of us who might sometimes need to be inspired to keep helping others.
Betty Wilson, President & CEO of The Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis, Inc.
For over three decades ago, The Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis (THFGI) has helped improve the health of central Indiana, especially for those who are underserved or marginalized. From the beginning, THFGI supported health-related causes, particularly those that helped our community’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens.
Effective medications have turned AIDS in the past two decades from a deadly to a treatable disease. To that end, THFGI has created statewide events such as the Indiana AIDS Walk to raise money for AIDS education and prevention programs. The foundation has given over $10 million for AIDS education and prevention since it began in 1992.
The Health Foundation and Indy Pride have long been partners in responding to some of the most important social issues in our community
As the foundation’s President and CEO, Wilson is being recognized for her dedication to improving health care in our community, including leadership and advocacy for HIV/AIDS prevention and childhood obesity. “I am thrilled to be given the honor to be Grand Marshal,” says Betty Wilson. “The Health Foundation and Indy Pride have long been partners in responding to some of the most important social issues in our community, and I am proud to represent the foundation in the Cadillac Barbie IN Pride Parade.”
Joining Betty Wilson are Dr Robert and Mrs Cynny Robinson. A longtime THFGI board member, Dr Robinson has been very supportive of the LGBTQ+ community. His daughter in New Hampshire is the attorney who argued same sex marriage to the Supreme Court and is now serving on the Supreme Court of New Hampshire.
Her speech inspired me to continue raising funds for my friends, for strangers, and for the community.
For Shere Brooks, the parade’s long-time chair, the announcement is personal: “One of the first fundraisers I helped raise money for was for the Indiana AIDS Walk, where I got to hear Betty Wilson speak about all the groups and charities The Health Foundation has been able to help over the years. Her speech inspired me to continue raising funds for my friends, for strangers, and for the community.”
We here at Indy Pride are very grateful to have such a wonderful partnership with and are honored to have THFGI and Betty Wilson as one of our Grand Marshals.